Chidambaram for media restraint on Quran burning threat

New Delhi : Home Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday appealed to the media to help maintain communal harmony in view of a United States pastor threatening to burn the Quran, and said it was “obviously calculated” to increase strife between religious groups.

Chidambaram said in a statement Thursday that the US authorities had strongly condemned the pastor’s proposed move. “Religious leaders all over the world have also condemned his proposed action.”

Terry Jones, pastor at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has said he would burn copies of the Quran on Sep 11, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

“We condemn the action of the pastor. It is totally unbecoming of anyone who claims to be a man of religion. It is obviously calculated to increase bitterness and strife between different religious groups,” Chidambaram stated.

“No one, who is interested in maintaining harmony and peace among different sections of the people, can condone such action,” he added.

Chidambaram said he hoped the “US authorities will take strong action to prevent such an outrage being committed”.

“While we await the action of the US authorities, we would appeal to the media in India – both print and visual media – to refrain from telecasting visuals or publishing photographs of the deplorable act.”

“We would also appeal to the media to exercise great restraint over the next couple of days and help in maintaining communal peace and harmony,” the minister added.

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